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Thread: Music organizer comparison

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    Join Date
    May 2009

    Lightbulb Music organizer comparison

    A short comparison of a few of the most popular music organisers for linux.
    A more extensive list:

    In this test it is not the goal to advocate 1 single program as an ideal solution for all. Choose yourself the application which meets your needs best. For Windows migrators: over there the situation isn't any different =>
    Consider this article as a way to save yourself some time for testing all the applications to get a general idea about them *

    Applications in this test must be able to manage a local music library, support ID3 tagging, creation of playlists and mounting/synching of mp3 players.
    My focus here went mainly towards big music libraries, customization, iPod support en speed/RAM usage.

    Applications which only play playlists or a single map are excluded because their goals are totally different (type XMMS). They use little RAM and are speedy, but lack the organizer functions found in the real deal.
    True tag-editors are also not included. Albeit very functional in their domain, they can be used in addition to a player like XMMS, but they also fail to comply with the demands for an all-in-one application.
    The possibility to run music from an external server (such as GMPC) has not been taken into account.

    Testing machine:
    Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) Linux 2.6.35-24-generic in a windows dual boot with Gnome 2.23.0 / all codecs installed
    5.8 GiB RAM and Intel Quad Core: 4x 2.67GHz with HDD= 7200rpm (containing both the OS as the music library)

    306.5 GB / 61917 tracks/ biggest= 383.5 MB / smallest= 11.9 kB / +- 90% MP3 @ 128 & 160kbps CBR

    Take into account the programming code when considering RAM usage. The dependencies are automatically loaded when starting these applications and they all have their specific effect on the used OS and desktop environment.
    Also will there be huge differences in user experience for smaller music libraries since each program uses it's specific database scripts.


    Written in: C++ (Qt)
    RAM: * * * * * * 200-250 MiB (206 measured in pic)
    Radio: * * * * * Yes
    Video: * * * * * No
    Podcast: * * * * Yes
    Playlist: * * * *Yes
    iPod: * * * * * *Yes
    Playqueue: * * * Yes
    View: * * * * * *Playlist + Browser
    Custom: * * * * Elements have limited selection and drag&drop
    Plugins: * * * * Good

    The application has a strong focus towards playlists and doesn't support a standard library view. General impression is very clean but not very intuitive. Operates very slow and tends to freeze often (even in KDE environment). Hellish when trying to tag large numbers of tracks. Not recommended on minimal hardware.


    Written in: C# (Mono)
    RAM: * * * *300-870 MiB (666 measured in pic)
    Radio: * * *Yes
    Video: * * *Yes
    Podcast: * *Yes
    Playlist: * Yes
    iPod: * * * Yes
    Playqueue: *Yes
    View: * * * Elements have limited selection and drag&drop
    Plugins: * *Good

    A very nice application and extremely intuitive. Contains a lot of possibilities as extentions and is a true all in one media suite with very easy tagging. Is however incredibly instable, has poor library software resulting in high RAM usage. Can cause damage to files when crashing (personal experience) en will subsequently refuge to start again. Ideal application to have a hate-love affair with.


    Written in: C++ (Qt) - Amarok 1.4 Fork
    RAM: * * * *300-950 MiB (863 measured in pic)
    Radio: * * *Yes
    Video: * * *No
    Podcast: * Yes
    Playlist:* *Yes
    iPod: * ** *Yes
    Playqueue: *Yes
    View: * * Playlist, Bibliotheek (via Smart Playlist)
    Custom: * * Elements have limited selection and drag&drop
    Plugins: * *Good

    Clear lay-out, easy to customize en smooth operating. Strong integration with last FM (nice & ban buttons, etc). Loading libraries is very slow en turns into a memory hog and is prone to freeze or crash. Perhaps a good solution for smaller libraries.


    Written in: Python - Amarok 1.4 Fork
    RAM: * * * *260-500 MiB (335 measured in pic)
    Radio: * * *Yes
    Video: * * *No
    Podcast:* * Yes
    Playlist:* *Yes
    iPod: * * *Yes
    Playqueue: *Yes
    View: * * * Playlist, Library (via Smart Playlist)
    Custom: * * Elements have limited selection and drag&drop
    Plugins: * *Very good

    Has a similar focus as Clementine but is far less successfull in achieving this. Has a disorganised feel to it and everything is less polished then Clementine. For instance: an iPod has to be mounted through the devices tab, whereas in Clementine all this is done automaticly. Crashes often without warning. [size=8pt]and off course when i run it in terminal it doesn't crash... *sigh*[/size]


    Written in: Perl
    RAM: * * * *200-230 MiB (228 measured in pic)
    Radio: * * *No
    Video: * * *No
    Podcast:* * No
    Playlist:* *Yes
    iPod: * ** *No (can be added as a file location)
    Playqueue: *Yes
    View: * * Multiple possibilities with extensive options and filters
    Custom: * * Elements have limited selection and drag&drop
    Plugins: * *Reasonable

    No-nonsense managementapplication. You have a lot of music files on your disk and want them easy accessible with the option to change the interface quickly depending on your needs at a given time? This is the application for you.
    Interface is easily (and extensively) modifiable towards your needs. Tagging is good. Filtering and search options are very elaborate. It's a perfect workhorse without bloated gizmos. Interface is functional and useful before considering aesthetics. Abundance of synching mp3 players and podcast neccisates an supplementary application for these functions.


    Written in: wxWidgets with SQLite database
    RAM: * * * *45-60 MiB (!) (52.6 measured in pic)
    Radio: * * *Yes
    Video: * * *No
    Podcast: * *Yes
    Playlist: * Yes
    iPod: * * * No* (in development)
    Playqueue: *Yes
    View: * * * Playlist, Library + browser, file system
    Custom: * * Highly adjustable: drag&drop, size adjustments and adjustments within each element possible
    Plugins: * *Fair

    Easy to customize visually making it very functional and intuitive. Extremely strong database system resulting in very low memory dependencies. Tagging is ok. Junior project and therefore missing some functionality such as iPod support and limited plugins. Very promising app and already quite good. Highly recommendable for people with systems on limited RAM.


    Written in: Java
    RAM: * * * *600-1100 MiB (670 measured in pic)

    I was unable to fully test this application because it was totally unuseable. Timelag after clicking and action would often exceed 1minute (without the application being grayed out).
    General impressions are an ancient (even downright ugly) interface. Impressions resemble Exaile with the tree-list. The "DJ"-function seemed however promising but i was unable to test due to problems mentioned above.
    Totally unuseable for large music libraries.

    (end part 1)
    Last edited by sigixv; January 4th, 2011 at 05:34 PM.

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